Review: Emirates Flight (DXB>MNL>DXB)

DXB > MNL > DXB

I believe all of the flights flying to and from Manila uses the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. They incorporate a 2 class cabin with only economy and business classes. The flight is usually takes 7 hours without the time at the airports taxiing.

Economy Class

The economy class product is similar to that of the LHR to DXB route (A380). The product and service is thankfully the same high quality as the other sectors, the differences will probably be its food which usually contemplates the flights origin or destination. click here for the London to Dubai route

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Business Class

The business class in this sector a 777 is different to that of the A380 or London route. Although the tier still incorporates a convertible leather flat bed product, the cabin has a 2-3-2 configuration where all seats are in rows and parallel to each other. The business class in this flight has less privacy than that of the A380 due to the fact you sit next to another passenger rather than an amenity/ storage section like that of the A380. However it is not uncomfortable and still very spacious. The only negative is if you sit next to a window or middle isle you may have to jump over your neighbour to go to the toilets if he or she is sleeping. Your seat will have a shoe rack, your meal menu and a water bottle, you will not have a portable device like the London routes. As you arrive you will be served a beverage such as champagne, juice or soda’s. I have never received an amenity kit in this sector, so I believe its just not included with this route.

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The service in this specific flight is similar to that of the London flight. There is two dining service with a snack just before landing. You get a 3 course meal served one by one with an endless offering of warm bread, wine and champagne throughout. All food was delicious and you can taste that they did not go cheap on ingredients. The flight attendant will set your table for you, she will place a white table cloth and then give you a ready prepared tray with your cutlery, towel, condiments, salad and more. All tableware is of high quality and nothing was plastic.

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The 777 does not incorporate an onboard lounge as there is not enough space, instead there is a small table in which after take off, is used to put snacks for passengers to grab at their own accord should they wish to roam around. However the service is consistently the same as that of the A380 London route.

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Review: Emirates Flight (LHR>DXB>LHR)

LON > DXB > LON

The majority of flights to and from London uses the Airbus A380. The economy class is usually at the lower level of the aircraft whilst the premium classes are at the second floor. Emirates always boasts multi national cabin crews with many different languages available which is very good for customer service.

Economy Class

The economy class product in Emirates has its characteristics which take them above its competitors. Firstly their seats which are in a 3-4-3 configuration are the same as many of their competitors with a standard recline, leg space, reading light, air and an adjustable headrest. A pillow, blanket and a headphone will already be placed on your seat.

 

The thing that stands out for me is their Entertainment system named ICE (Information, Communication and Entertainment) which is on all tiers and classes, although different sized screens for the different tiers off course.  Through ICE you can watch the largest collection of movies and shows from many different locations and many different genres. Furthermore you are also able to monitor your flight through different cameras placed on their aircraft and with a advanced flight map. ICE has the best and the most latest movies and shows than any other airlines I have ever been on. Other than ice the seats also incorporate USB chargers, a three point headphone socket and a remote even though their screens are touch screen.

 

Their service in economy is also desirable, upon arrival passengers are given hot towels, landing cards and kids are given goody bags. In this specific flight passengers are usually given a full meal and a lighter snack, both of which are served at favourable times. You are also able to request  pot noodles and drinks at any time 30 minutes after take-off and 30 minutes before landing.

Emirates have no premium economy class, but is said to be planning to incorporate it in the future to compete with its competitors.

Business Class

The business class product on this flight is special and the reason for returning to this airline almost yearly. Like many modern airlines, Emirates incorporates a convertible  seat and flat-bed product in a 1-2-1 configuration. Each leather seating area is spacious with an amenity section which includes a mini bar, desk, portable device and storages right next to you. Furthermore there is shoe storage under the footrest and even more storage (good enough for laptop bags) next to the window with the standard overhead bins still  built above, making the the seating excessively rich in storage. The seats are set in an alternating configuration whereas the person ahead or behind you is never directly parallel to you. I usually sit in a window seat (me next to the window) whilst the amenities next to the isle giving me a bit more privacy.

 

Again the entertainment system was special, all of the brilliant functions that were available on economy are available in business, but can be controlled using the extra portable device which each seats have. This portable device can be used to monitor flight progress, adjust the seat, lighting and much more. Furthermore the seats have a 32 inch screen which is one of the largest in the world, you are also provided with noise cancelling headphones, but I always op to use my own.

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The service in business class is also remarkable right from the very start (at the airport), through entering the aircraft and for the duration of the flight. Upon entering the aircraft you are greeted by a flight attendant at the door who will guide you to your seat and along the way to your seat, attendants are cleverly placed throughout the aircraft to assist. Once settled an attendant (if not busy) will approach you and brief you on the features of the seat, service and cabin. Another attendant will go around the cabin offering a choice of welcome drinks such as juices, water or champagne with a brief description of the menu for the flight. You are also given a Bvlgari amenity kit which I believe changes design every 6 months, there is a separate for the kits for the sexes which include basic toiletries such as toothbrush, tooth paste, shave, comb, tissue, a Bvlgari cologne and many more. A great experience, and the flight hasn’t even left the ground.

 

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Right after take off you are given more beverages with assorted warm nuts and at this time they will also take your order for dinner service (or whatever you are served in your flight). You will then have plenty of time to relax or roam the Emirates inflight bar lounge. The bar is out of this world, you may order any drinks and nibbles. A friendly bar person is always available and they are open to conversing. The crew at the onboard lounge are very receptive and will allow you to take pictures, go behind the bar and even teach you a few recipes.

 

At the meal services you are given a fulfilling 3 course meal, the starter and main you ordered earlier and a comprehensive choice of desert. All courses are served separately and you are able to request for warm bread, wine (or other beverages) at any point of the meal although frequent rounds are made by the cabin crew anyway. Your table will be set by one of the cabin crews taking your table out, placing the table cloth and giving the ready set trays including the condiments, salad, butter, cutlery ect. One of best curries I have ever tasted was onboard, I don’t know what the dish was called but it incredible I have never since found any curry like it.

 

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After meals its time to relax, the seats can be converted into any angle you desire. You are also offered to use duvets if you wish but I always op to just rest on the already comfortable seats.

Finally just before landing you are given towels to freshen up and a ‘Fast Track’ card in order to pass through the airport quicker whether transit or arrivals. Should your aircraft be parked on a stand rather than a gate you will be transferred to the terminal on a special business class shuttle, whereas its interior is amazing all passengers get their own leather seat nobody stands.

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Overall using Emirates into Dubai is an experience not to be missed, it is 6 hours flight that you wish to be a little longer no matter whether travelling economy or business. The airline deserves its premium reputation and definitely has a fan in me, in my opinion a five star airline through and through.

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How do you travel?

Do you buy cheap airfares or pay the price for the experience?

There is now the popular arguments between family, friends and even oneself on whether to travel cheaply or pay more for the added perks on flights. We know there are two types of carriers, “standard or premium airliners” which we recognize as flag carriers and even somewhat being the symbol of aviation in its country, secondly the increasing popularity of “budget or low cost airlines” the companies giving passengers very cheap tickets for bare necessities (no thrills as its known). I work for an airline and I know that the battle of the skies is difficult for every carrier out there. Its simple the more passengers the higher profitability which will also illustrate its reputation. Wealthy carriers are consistently advertising, upgrading seats, product and services, lowering prices also comes to the equation but only to an extent and with unfavourable consequences. Budget airlines spend less which enables them to lower tickets, this results in no food (buy on-board), less legroom (more row of sellable seats), undesirable airports and many more. Standard and budget airliners are now far apart on the service it offers, for us as passengers there is now a huge choice and it is something that divides opinions. So what is your method in flying?

Budget/ Low cost Airlines (Flying Cheaply)

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Advantages

Spend less money (more for the holiday itself)

One of two reasons I believe people travel with budget low cost airlines, is the price. There are many people who believe that air transport is only a small part of the holiday and would rather spend more on hotels and activities than a simple flight. Furthermore if the flight is only 1-2 hours there is no real effect on sitting in a budget airline than that of a more luxurious one.

Only pay for what you need

There is plenty of aspects on a standard airline company that an individual traveller doesn’t desire, such as insurance, food and even baggage weight. This is something budget airliners capitalises on and gives passengers the choice to pay for only the services you require, which is popular amongst many youthful travellers who aren’t swayed by insurance protection or seat choices, this is normally known in aviation as ‘no thrills’ flights.

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Disadvantages

Less Comfort

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Everybody has heard the saying that ‘you get what you pay for’, which is true when it comes to spending on flights. Easily seen when you book economy, business and first class within a single carrier and somewhat true when choosing between standard and budget flights. Cheap airlines usually only incorporate the essentials (the product required by law) which are very basic seats, a stowage and a toilet (no thrills as they call it). Take note low cost airlines have also been looking at the possibility of charging to use toilets but were unsuccessful due to various laws. Leg space is also affected and many (not all) budget carriers give the bare minimum required by the law, in order to increase the number of rows which will fit more people

No Baggage Allowance

If you know about aircrafts, you would know that weight is a big issue. The heavier the plane the more expensive fuel it uses resulting in higher costs, reason why many airliners are strict on baggage weight. Cheaper budget airlines do not give complimentary baggage weight as these need to be purchased, usually at a high cost.

Undesirable Airports

Getting away from huge costs and taxes reputable airports demand are something low cost carriers prefer to get away from. This enables them to avoid charges such as parking and facilities, overall lowering ticket prices to sell to customers. However although very attractable to customers at first (due to prices), these airports may be further and somewhat difficult to get to, resulting in further costs and unnecessary journeys to and from the airport.

Less protection

Many have experienced the undesirable event of delays, cancellations, overbooking, missing a flight and even damaged luggage’s. Many budget carriers do not include protection for these in your ticket bill, and again would require to purchase if you want one, some being very expensive.

Standard/ Premium Airlines (Pay for the experience)

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Advantages

Better products, comfier and more convenient

Standard or more premium airlines attract their customers for the product and service they offer. Leg space and recline are usually the simple advantages from budget to premium airliners, however the seats itself could be more comfier (leather, foam, ect). Long-haul flights (on standard/ premium flights) usually have IFEs (In-Flight Entertainment) which budget carriers do not equip themselves with due to its initial and running costs. Simpler products such as storage, tables and arm rests are also usually enhanced (depending on airline carrier) and probably the most important in the modern world are charging points which are now being increasingly introduced in all tiers on these airline companies. Furthermore these airlines also lend blankets and pillows for extra comfort something that low cost carriers do not.

Meals and giveaways

Depending on the journey and duration of flight the airline would offer complimentary meals, it could be breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack depending on the time of the flight. Two meals may be offered for longer long-haul flights depending on the carrier. Amenity kits are sometimes offered on standard airlines but on budget carriers food and amenities must be purchased.

However take note that even premium/ standard carriers are starting to roll out a buy on board system (buy your meals) on short haul routes this is a model that may increasingly be popular and even the norm in the future.

Higher Standards

For premium and standard carriers, their brand is most precious, to attract customers means to give customers the best they can give. Usually the products on more expensive carriers are steadier and more robust, generally made from better quality materials. Inflight meals are also of better quality than what you can get in low cost carriers as their budgets for these would be paid for in the ticket prices. Furthermore Staff appearance (uniforms) are usually better and more fashionable than that of budget carriers and their training are far better which would results in better customer service.

Standard Baggage

Depending on the airline you travel with, there will be complimentary baggage weight for you to use (usually 20kg-40kg), this is something that is not included in cheaper carriers and thus an advantage for premium and standard airliners.

Choice of classes

If money is not a big barrier for you, standard airliners offer different classes and tiers, these have different products, services and food, something that budget airlines don’t offer. Depending on your standard of life, to be able to choose your tier and how much money you want to spend is another advantage over cheaper airlines with only one standard cabin and layout.

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Disadvantages

More expensive

Probably the only big disadvantage of standard and premium airlines, is the cost of their tickets. Usually double or sometimes triple of that on a budget airline the price is usually the big reason why many turn away from high end carriers.

Overall

There are positives and negatives flying both budget/ low cost and standard/ premium airlines, it just depends on the type of traveller and travel you are or having.

On a personal view, I am content to fly with both low-cost and standard airline companies for shorthaul flights but would edge more in favour for expensive carriers for long-haul flights as long as I am happy with the service I can get.

I wouldn’t mind flying budget/ low cost for Journeys less than 2 hours (short-haul) such as domestic routes or flights to neighbouring countries. These routes are too short for me to care about the service I receive as I usually just fall asleep for the duration of the flight without needing to eat, drink or entertain myself. My only disadvantage would be the airports I may likely be arriving or departing from as it may be too far and inconvenient for my target destination. However if the price difference from budget to standard are not too great then I would spend that bit more for the extra perks.

On longer (long-haul) flights I would pay the price for the extra service and comfort provided by standard/premium carriers. This is because travelling to the likes of Dubai which is 8hrs or Hong Kong 13hrs (from London), is just way too long for no thrills. Simple aspects such as blankets, pillows and meals would benefit largely in a long flight, likewise a big advantage are the IFEs (In Flight Entertainment) which would largely entertain anyone for many hours. Furthermore to be able to eliminate the fuss of further spending before , during and after the flight (on long journeys) would make travels so much better knowing everything is paid for in advance and all you need to think about is the holiday ahead.

So in conclusion, the most important aspect of the flight for me is the experience and not the money I spend as I’ve always seen the flight as a part of your holiday (the beginning). However if there is very little to no difference on the flight experience I am choosing from, then why should I spend just for the sake of a brand.

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